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Evidence required for regeneration sequestration projects

29 November 2016

There are methods available under the Emissions Reduction Fund for vegetation regeneration that are model-based and have complex land use history and evidentiary requirements. These include:

The requirements are summarised in this regulatory guidance to assist potential scheme participants to assess which method their land may fit under, and whether they can satisfy the evidentiary requirements.

This advice is general, and each project will be assessed individually. Meeting the requirement for evidence of land use is only one element of project eligibility, and decisions on eligibility can only be made on assessment of a complete project application.

The method for avoided clearing of native forest is covered in this regulatory guidance as it is a method that provides for abatement calculated according to continuing regeneration after cessation of clearing.

It is important to note that some evidentiary requirements provide examples of types of evidence rather than mandatory specifications. In these cases, other types of evidence may satisfy the requirements of the relevant method.

The Clean Energy Regulator cannot provide advice on whether particular types of evidence will be sufficient, as all evidence can only be assessed in the context of a full project application.

From 1 July 2015 these methods have been amended to operate under the Emissions Reduction Fund. This means applications for project registration submitted after 30 June 2015 cannot be backdated and must satisfy the newness test.

Human induced regeneration of a permanent even-aged forest-1.1 (2013)

Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) (Human-Induced Regeneration of a Permanent Even-Aged Native Forest—1.1) Methodology Determination 2013

Land characteristic and baseline requirements are covered in sections 2.3 and 2.4 of the method. The evidentiary requirements include, but are not, depending on project circumstances, limited to:

  • Evidence that the land did not achieve forest cover during the 10 year baseline period, and is therefore taken to have a baseline of zero.
    • Evidence may include date-stamped, geo-referenced, remote-sensed imagery.
  • Evidence that the timing and nature of suppression activities did not result in carbon stocks exceeding 5 per cent of the maximum during the baseline period.
    • Evidence of suppression activities may include fuel use records, labour records, records of chemical purchase and use, livestock records.
  • There must be a documented change to the land management regime, supported by at least one of the following:
    • An application for project registration (this can only apply if the project is not being backdated).
    • Records of activities to assist native forest regeneration, such as fencing, feral animal removal, or management of non-native plants.
    • Registration of carbon property rights.
    • Documented evidence from third parties, such as agricultural advisors, local planning bodies or financial institutions, showing a clear intention to cease regeneration suppression activities.

Native forest from managed regrowth (2013)

Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) (Native Forest from Managed Regrowth) Methodology Determination 2013

The land use history and evidentiary requirements are covered in sections 2.3, 2.4 and 2.5 of the method. The evidentiary requirements include but are not, depending on project circumstances, limited to:

  • Evidence of a documented decision to implement the project mechanism and the date of that decision, being either the date an application to register the project is lodged, or an earlier date.
  • Evidence of at least one comprehensive clearing event, which may include:                                              
    • Clearing permits.
    • Farm management records of clearance or suppression activities.
    • Date-stamped imagery (aerial photography or geo-referenced remotely-sensed).
    • Vegetation data derived from other sources, such as the National Vegetation Information System.
    • Published vegetation mapping.
  • Evidence that the first comprehensive clearing event for which evidence is provided was clearing for pastoral use.
    • This evidence may include land use surveys, business records, property or herd management records, or local area records.
  • Evidence that there was forest cover on the land prior to the first comprehensive clearing event for which evidence is provided, which may include:
    • The 1990 forest extent layer in the CFI mapping tool.
    • Date-stamped, geo-referenced remotely-sensed imagery.
    • Derived vegetation cover data.
  • Evidence of the date of the most recent comprehensive clearing event, which determines the default forest potential date, unless evidence is provided of a different forest potential date.
    • Evidence of forest potential may include date-stamped geo-references remotely-sensed imagery, or expert information about local growth rates and rainfall data

Avoided Clearing of Native Regrowth (2015)

Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative—Avoided Clearing of Native Regrowth) Methodology Determination 2015

The land characteristic and baseline requirements under this method are covered in sections 9 to 17 of the method. The evidentiary requirements include but are not, depending on project circumstances, limited to:

  • Evidence that the land has native forest cover and is substantially uniformly covered in trees and that the dominant tree species are within their natural range.
    • Evidence must include a list of dominant tree species.
    • Evidence may include date-stamped, geo-referenced, remote-sensed imagery, and the forest cover data layer in the CFI mapping tool
    • Evidence may include information on the Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia (IBRA) bioregions from Australian bioregions map published by the Department of the Environment and Energy​.
  • Evidence that unrestricted clearing is permitted on the land at the time of application, without any requirements to not remove a species, and without any requirement to offset the clearing.
    • Evidence must include either a valid clearing permit or evidence that unrestricted clearing may be carried out without a permit.
  • Evidence that at least two clearing events have occurred on each carbon estimation area and that regeneration has occurred after the two most recent clearing events.
    • Evidence must demonstrate either that a clearing event happened in a particular calendar year, or that it happened at some point within a three year period.
    • Evidence of clearing events may include remotely-sensed imagery, clearing permits, farm management records, tax invoices, published vegetation maps, and vegetation data derived from other published sources such as the National Vegetation Information System .
    • Evidence of regeneration after the most recent clearing event must include date-stamped remotely-sensed imagery.
    • Evidence must demonstrate that:
      • Regeneration happened in a particular calendar year, or
      • That regeneration was not evident at the start of, and evident at the end of, a three year period, or
      • That regeneration was indeterminate at the start of and evident at the end of, a three year period.
    • Evidence must be of sufficient quality to identify changes in vegetation cover.
  • Evidence that the land was used for cropping or grazing after the two most recent clearing events.
    • Evidence may include farm management records and tax invoices.

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